Sergio Perez is witnessing up close the formidable might of Max Verstappen, and the Mexican is surprised by his Red Bull teammate's error-free ability to perform at such a high level.
Perez, who is currently fifth in the Drivers' standings, trails Verstappen by 127.5 points in the championship, a deficit the Mexican owes in large part to the Dutchman's track record of seven wins so far this season while Perez has scored just one win in his first campaign with Red Bull.
This year's Azerbaijan Grand Prix winner is struggling to measure up to his teammate, but sitting on the other side of the Red Bull garage has provided Perez with some insight on Verstappen's outstanding skills.
"Well, I think Max has been the driver of the season to be honest, so far," said Perez last weekend in Turkey.
"I think he has done the least mistakes of anyone out there. He’s put things together at a very high level.
"I mean the season is still very long so we will see later on. So far I have been surprised in a very positive way about how he delivers without mistakes at such a high level."
Perez acknowledged that racing alongside one of F1's greatest talents is no small task, even with the benefit of having one of the best cars in the field at his disposal.
"Obviously it’s not easy, you know, being Max’s team-mate because he’s at one with the car, he’s really delivering at a very high level," added the 31-year-old.
"We’ve got a unique car in a way, and it hasn’t been easy.
"You need to be mentally very strong after each day and I think that’s one of my strengths to take the most out of it and try to get the maximum out of every Sunday.
"I had a difficult process to adapt to the car but nothing too dramatic or nothing that stands out.
"It’s obviously a very good package and a very competitive one. Max is showing that this car is if not the best, it’s one of the best out there."